It’s an exciting time for politics –– both in the nation and at ETSU.
One graduate and one current student are running for public office this November.
ETSU alumnus Nathan Farnor is running for the Tennessee House of Representatives, District 7, while current student David Adams is running for the Johnson City Commission.
Farnor graduated ETSU with a Political Science and Communication degree in May 2018. During his time here, he was the first-ever student representative on ETSU’s Board of Trustees. He is currently serving as Advocate Lead for the National Campus Leadership Team of the American Cancer Society.
Farnor is passionate about working families in the community. He says it is what inspired him to run at first.
“My parents had to work hard for everything we had,” he said. “When I looked into who was running for Tennessee’s House of Representatives, I didn’t see anyone who represented those people, those hard workers. Many people in the community have to work, like my own family, and those people deserve representation.”
If elected, Farnor has many goals for district seven, including Medicaid expansion, veterans support and advocating for working families.
“There are 14,000 people in Washington County who do not have access to traditional healthcare,” he said. “We must expand Medicaid and ensure those working families have access to quality healthcare – this includes veterans too. I also come from a military family and want to make sure those people are taken care of. Tennessee has a high number of unemployed and homeless veterans. … We must work to protect and advocate for those who work day in and day out to provide for their families. They deserve a voice in Nashville.”
Current student David Adams is majoring in Computing with a concentration in computer science and is set to graduate in May 2019.
Adams, who is from Louisiana, moved to Johnson City 13 years ago.
“My family just fell in love with the area,” he said.
He says that noticing a gap in representation is what initially inspired him to run for public office, too.
“I felt like the things I support and the communities I connect with weren’t being properly represented,” he said. “I saw a gap in representation for technology, a gap in representation for the university community and a gap in representation for working class residents.”
He feels as though a new face could help the city tenfold. His three biggest goals are more collaboration between the city and ETSU, technology being advocated and implemented and transparency in city dealings.
Although Adams does not have any prior political experience or connections, he feels strongly about running and representing this area.
“I’m 22 … the idea of running seemed crazy in the beginning,” he said. “I went door-to-door to gauge support, and the level of support surprised me. I decided that night that I would run, and I’ve been full steam ahead since then. It’s already a victory to have the opportunity to engage people in local politics and bring attention to issues that matter to me.”
Adams and Farnor want students to know their voices can be heard when they vote.
“Despite what you may believe, your vote matters,” Adams said. “A small classroom of students can be the difference it takes to elect an ETSU-related candidate.”